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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Content Ideas for Your Next Business Blog Post

October 20, 2020
Content Ideas for Your Next Business Blog Post


 

Your business’s website is the perfect launching pad for enticing potential customers through the power of your own voice—with blogging. That’s because content marketing means establishing your business and your leaders as experts in your field. Sure, staring at a blank page is daunting when you don’t know what to write about. But luckily, we’ve got you covered. Check out these five content ideas for your next blog.

 

1. Share a Success Story

One customer’s success story sparks a world of ideas for your potential customers. When they see the wins you’ve already achieved for somebody, they start to picture what that could mean for your partnership with them. Think of some of your business’s top success stories and put them down on paper. Include tangible results that will easily resonate with your audience. Don’t forget to ask for permission to include quotes or names from your current customers championing their wins.

 

2. Talk About Products or Services

Sometimes you need more space than a product description page can give you. Use a blog post to go into more detail about the products and services your business offers. Or, maybe one of your products has a cool feature that you’ve never been able to talk about in-depth. Think about where you’d wished you had more room to elaborate in the past and get to writing.
 

3. Tell Your Origin Story

By now you probably know that many successful businesses were started in a garage: Apple, Disney and Amazon, to name a few. All of that goes to show that every business starts somewhere. What about your business? Use a blog post to detail why your business was started, where you came from and what your business stands for. This is an opportunity for you to create an emotional connection with your audience. This type of blog post will help to humanize your business. 

 

4. Address Frequently Asked Questions

There’s a reason they’re called “frequently” asked questions. Think about the questions your business receives time and time again. Then, use a blog post to develop thoughtful answers to those questions. Plus, this will make your job easier since customers will be able to find answers on their own. This helps drive truly qualified inquiries on the forms on your website, because hopefully your potential customers will have done some digging. 

 

5. Unveil New/Seasonal Offerings

‘Tis the season for a blog post around seasonal items. These last three months of the year always fly by, and with it comes the opportunity to promote seasonal offerings. Sure, you’ll want these new or seasonal product offerings up on your normal products or services page, but think of this blog post as an announcement to go more in-depth as to what you’re offering and the why behind it. 

 

Now it’s time to get out there and put the pen to paper… or more likely keyboard to blank document! Remember that consistency is key. As long as you’re writing from the heart and thinking from your potential customer’s point of view, you’ll have no problem with these five easy blogging ideas.

 

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How to Create an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

October 20, 2020
How to Create an Effective Email Marketing Campaign


 

Millions of people around the world start their day the same way—opening up their email inbox to see what has digitally reached them. Did you know that the average person checks their email inbox 15 times a day? That’s why it’s a no-brainer to start an email marketing campaign.  

Reaching out to potential customers in their inbox gives you direct access to create a tailored and personalized message that could turn them into  lifelong customers. Check out these easy steps to launch your next email marketing campaign. 

 

1. Build Your List 

Start by determining your audience. Consider hosting a form on your website where visitors can  sign up for your newsletter or email list. It’s important to remember that everybody starts somewhere, and you will continue to build your list over time.
 

2. Choose Email Marketing Software

While you can certainly manage your lists and send out emails manually, there are many services that help simplify the process. Email marketing software is available to help with storing various targeted lists of emails, scheduling emails and tracking the open rates. Depending on the size of your business and email lists, you may be able to find a free service. Do some research to see what makes sense for you.

 

3. Determine a Call to Action

The best place to start with your email campaign is at the end. It’s much easier to develop your email if you know your ultimate end goal. Each email you create should have a “call to action” which simply means a call to do something. Some typical calls to action could include:

  • Shop a limited time sale.
  • Sign up for an event.
  • Read more about a new product or service.
  • Check out a new video, blog post or social post.

Once you determine what you want the recipient to do, you can begin to frame your email. 

 

4. Draft Your Email

Now it’s time to start writing. Attention spans are short, so remember to keep things concise. You’ll want to start with an attention-grabbing subject line to make sure your email avoids the trash folder before it’s ever opened. Lead with a short, compelling statement to open. Then, in the body of the email, include images or videos to help break up the text. Take advantage of anything you can do to help captivate your audience’s attention. You’ll finish with your call to action in the form of a button. Make sure the call to action stands out by using a bold font or color.
 

5. Hit Send

And now, for the finale of your email campaign! Make sure to send a test to yourself or other team members to ensure the formatting is correct and that everything looks in order. If the test email looks great, you’re ready to select your audience list and hit send. This may be nerve wracking the first few times, but we can assure you that the reward is worth the effort.
 

6. Follow Up

Okay, so we said hitting send was the finale—but once you start sending email campaigns your work is never truly finished. Depending on the content of your email marketing campaign, you may want to make this a regular occurrence. If you were sending out a special offer, you should consider following up with a reminder before the time period ends.

 

Now it’s your turn to start crafting and sending an email. Don’t be afraid to test your email with an internal audience before launching it to the world. Remember, with people around the world checking their email almost 15 times per day, it’s a great space for you to try to garner potential customers. Get out there and get to sending.

 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

How to Use Testimonials to Market Your Business

September 29, 2020
How to Use Testimonials to Market Your Business

 


Marketing is all about singing the praises of your business and getting your potential customers on board. But what about letting somebody else do the talking? Testimonials are the perfect way to build trust with your prospective customers. Why? Because people trust people. 

 

Sure, your business is trustworthy. But it’s one thing for your business to tell everybody about the great work you’re doing, and it’s another thing for real customers to tell people about the great work you already executed. Check out these five ways to make testimonials work for your small business.
 

1. Ask for Reviews and Feedback

If you don’t ask, you’ll never know the answer. To gather testimonials, start with what you already have. Look online at your Google, Facebook and/or Yelp reviews. If any reviews are particularly good, reach out to the customer who left the review and ask if you can repurpose it for your website or advertisement. If necessary, you can pitch slight rewording and ask for permission to use the content, or provide guidance for a new testimonial. You have nothing to lose, but all of the new testimonials to gain.
 

2. Keep It Concise

Let’s face it—attention spans are at an all-time low. That means your business’s message is fighting for attention on social media news feeds, television and radio spots everywhere. When you have customers with work, kids and other everyday distractions, it’s hard to hold attention spans. Encourage your customers who are giving testimonials to be concise with their message. Look for ways to cut out unnecessary phrases and only use the most meaningful words. That way, you make the most impact with the least amount of time and space.

 

3. Use Multiple Mediums

Some people like to read. Others like to watch videos. Potato, potahto. Make sure to gather testimonials in various formats, whether it be written text, video or audio for a podcast or radio spot. 

 

We live in an age where cameras and voice technology on our phones can produce incredible quality, so it’s relatively easy to make an ask of your customers to gather the testimonial in whatever media format you prefer. Simply make yourself available to troubleshoot if problems arise. Tell the customer how they can best record, and how they can easily get the testimonial to you.

 

4. Make It Memorable

Just because it’s a testimonial doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Encourage your testimonial-givers to let their personalities shine through. If it’s a video, encourage props. If applicable, show off your work on camera or by using pictures for print. For video testimonials, consider having somebody that’s lively and good in front of the camera talking about your business instead of the standard, straightforward spot. Likewise, for a text testimonial you should use a customer that speaks with energy that translates to paper. Don’t be afraid to break some of the writing rules, like including more exclamation points than you would normally let fly.
 

5. Update Regularly

As the seasons change, so should your testimonials! Mark your calendar with a reminder to evaluate if it’s time for a refresh. The more work you do, the more opportunities you’ll have to gather rockstar testimonials from your customers. Fresh content means your customers see that you’re continually proving yourself to be a quality and reputable business, time and time again. 

 

 

Now it’s time for lights, camera and action! Testimonials are the best way to garner trust with your potential customers without actually having to say anything yourself. Start with reviews you already have, and make additional asks from there.

 

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Five Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign

September 21, 2020
Five Signs It’s Time for a Website Redesign


 

Unfortunately your website isn’t like the “Field of Dreams.” Just because you build it does not mean “they”—your potential customers—will come. Have no fear, because there’s nothing a little sprucing up can’t fix. But how do you know when it’s time to revamp your website in the first place? Some signs may be glaring, while others are a bit more subtle. Check out these five signs it’s time for a website redesign.
 

1. Your Website is Dated

The year 2000 called, and it wants its website back. Maybe your website was the best thing since sliced bread back in its day (“was” is the key word). But like most things, trends change with the times. 

Potential customers might be turned off from your business if they see that it doesn’t look like the website has been updated, or that you are still featuring outdated content. It shows that you don’t care about the look of your website, so why would you care about them as a customer? Put the time and care into getting that fresh look.
 

2. Your Website is Not Responsive

These days our phones can do just about everything except make us a 5-course meal (although you could order one with your phone). That’s why you should make sure your website is responsive, meaning it can easily adapt formats for whatever device your site visitors are using to look up your business. If one customer prefers to look at your website on a laptop and another on their phone, they should still have an experience that is pleasing to the eye. Make sure to test out design and layout on multiple devices for the best results.

 

3. Your Branding Has Changed

You have so many balls in the air, it’s easy to prioritize and forget about some aspects of your business. However, the website should not fall low on the priority list. If your branding has changed since you last designed your website, it’s critical to get the updates made to your site. With mismatched branding, potential customers could become confused. 

 

4. Your Website Has a High Bounce Rate

The bounce rate on your website is a marketing term that refers to whether or not your site visitors jumped around to multiple pages on your website, or if they left right away after visiting a single page. If you have website analytics, you should be able to easily locate your bounce rate. If you find an astronomically high bounce rate, it’s important to determine what’s happening. Almost always, it’s some or all of these reasons:

  • The site content isn’t relevant.
  • The site visitor couldn’t find what they were looking for.
  • The page took too long to load.
  • The site design was not intriguing.

Don’t let the bounce rate get you down. Instead, come up with a redesign that will lead to longer exploration of your site pages.

 

5. Your Website Isn’t Converting 

You know that what glitters isn’t always gold. Just because you think the website looks great doesn’t mean it is doing its job when it comes to business needs. Start by determining the goal of your website. The goal could be anything from getting direct purchases to grabbing more leads to driving more people to your storefront. Whatever your goal is, it’s important to make sure your website is actually helping you achieve it. 

 

Don’t let your potential customers be the ones who got away. Take the time to invest in a website that works. It is, after all, the digital front door to more opportunities for your business.

 

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Monday, August 31, 2020

Five Email Marketing Tips to Avoid the Trash Folder

August 31, 2020
Five Email Marketing Tips to Avoid the Trash Folder


 

 

It’s a “subject-line-eat-subject-line” world out there. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, opportunity could be in your favor when it comes to email marketing. That’s because you have a large audience sitting down in front of their computers, snacking away on whatever is left in the cupboard (just me?!), contemplating their next purchases. 

 

Studies show that the email marketing return could be fruitful. According to Hubspot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent. That’s a whopping 3800% return on investment. Numbers like this can hardly be ignored, especially when you consider daily email users top out at 3.9 billion. The only hurdle? You have to write an email compelling enough to get through to them. Use these 5 email marketing tips to help your emails get opened instead of sent to the trash folder. 

 

1. Send to the Right Audience

If you write the world’s most compelling email message selling peanut butter, but your audience is allergic, the message will undoubtedly fail. This seems like an obvious example, but more unnoticeable examples happen all the time. If you aren’t speaking your audience’s language, your message is bound to be ignored.

 

Start by doing an analysis of your email addresses. How did you gather them? Are there different audiences within your email list that should receive separate messages? Do you know anything about your email list base? If you can’t answer these questions, it may be time to do a quick survey to find out why your audience is here in the first place. Only then can you truly write to what the end user wants.

 

2. Write a Compelling Subject Line

An engaging subject line is the difference between passing “open” and going directly to “trash,” or piquing your audiences’ curiosity enough to read what you have to say. 

 

A/B testing is a great way to determine what type of subject lines resonate with your audience. The concept is simple—try two formats with a small sampling of your audience and see which garners better click rates. Maybe your audience prefers a straightforward subject line, or maybe they like when your business has some fun. You’ll never know until you try—through testing! (P.S. This all happens seamlessly without any extra work if you use an email marketing program.)

 

3. Personalize Your Message

No, you don’t have to include a personal detail about each recipient. However, you should know the audience well enough to make the message feel personal. Consider using email marketing software to automatically add their name to the subject line. Or, maybe you directly target those who haven’t purchased in awhile, letting them know just how much you miss them. There are ample opportunities for small, personal touches, and you have a greater chance of avoiding the trash folder by leveraging personalization. 

 

4. Offer a Deal

“What’s in it for me?” This is a relatable reaction that your audience will internally ask themselves. A deal could mean the obvious percentage off their next purchase. It could also mean a free consultation, which costs your business nothing but time. Consider the return on investment of each deal. Remember—it doesn’t need to be a huge percentage off the price, it just needs to be something valuable enough to draw in your end user.

 

5. Develop a Clear Call to Action

If you deliver the message of a lifetime but your audience doesn’t know what to do next, you’ve missed your opportunity to connect. Whether it’s something as simple as clicking to learn more, or more directly asking your audience to reach into their wallets, this isn’t the time to be vague. Be direct. Be bold. Get out there and tell your recipients what to do next.

 

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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Evergreen Content: What It Is and How to Use It

August 18, 2020
Evergreen Content: What It Is and How to Use It

 


When it comes to marketing, content marketing garners new customers and extends brand awareness. For businesses, marketers and professional individuals alike, one specific type of content that’s popular is “evergreen content.” 

 

In terms of website targeting and search engine optimization (SEO), evergreen content is the perfect way to keep always topical content on your website for visitors to see. What is evergreen content and why is it so important? Let’s dive in and see how you can start optimizing evergreen content.

 

Evergreen Content, Defined

Evergreen content refers to website content which is search engine optimized and continually relevant to website visitors. This means it stays “fresh” for readers, regardless of when they are reading it. Like an evergreen tree, evergreen content is in season year-round.

 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t everything online be evergreen, then? If blog posts aren’t taken down, doesn’t that mean they’re always accessible to readers?” The difference between regular website content and evergreen content, though, is evergreen continues to be relevant after its publication date, rather than a dated, timely post.

 

Why Evergreen Content Is Important

Evergreen content is important to have on your website because it boosts your SEO rankings. Since evergreen posts never lose their relevance, they often have no expiration date and generally use keywords which are searched for over and over again. 

 

This results in search engines finding, categorizing and recalling the content more often, because it is still relevant to the searcher. Therefore, evergreen content continues to increase website traffic, even long after it’s been posted. In other words, the business gets more bang for its buck because more people are drawn in through one single post.

 

What Evergreen Content Is Not

Now that you know why your website should have evergreen content, let’s get a clearer picture of what that looks like. First, here are some things to remember evergreen content is not:

 

  • Timely news articles. No current events, updated info or recent news information. Unless something is going to be around for a very long time, news is probably not evergreen.
  • Dated statistics. Numbers and statistics are great for content, but not if you’re looking for something evergreen. They can often change and become outdated.
  • Seasonal articles. Content celebrating holidays or a season are awesome for your website, but are not particularly evergreen. 

 

Evergreen Content Ideas

If you need some ideas to get started on creating your evergreen content, here are a few:

 

  • Listicles. Articles with general lists about a topic, e.g. “Top 10 Ways to Bring in a New Customer,” are a great way to appear informed at any time.
  • How-to tutorials. “How to” articles are always helpful. To stay evergreen, make sure your how-to articles are relevant without being particularly timely.
  • Product or service information. For a business, fun articles on a particular product or service definitely can become evergreen content. Just make sure that product or service is staying around for a while, rather than a seasonal promotion.

 

While evergreen content shouldn’t be all of your website posts (time-sensitive articles always have their place), evergreen content is a great way to increase your SEO rankings and boost website traffic. Give it a try to see how your marketing strategy improves and grows.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

HELLO! Is There Anybody Out There?

August 11, 2020
HELLO! Is There Anybody Out There?

 

Now that counties are opening up we all know it's imperative to get re-engaged with your customer base, safely. One of the most tried and true methods is direct mail. It has always been an important part of any marketing strategy, but even more relevant in this current era of digital overload and social distancing.

Not sure where to start? We have a few tips!

- Direct mail is particularly effective now while people are “working at home” or just returning to the office. They read more and are hungry for outside contact. Direct mail is a perfect way to reach them.

- Align with sales prospects. Because postage is the costly part of a direct mail campaign, businesses should work with their sales team to identify the best candidates to receive a direct mail piece.

- Create a clear call to action. Do you want them to call you for an appointment? Visit the website? Go to a contact form?

- Customize your audience! If you have multiple customer channels, write to each particular segment. What you say to someone in healthcare is different than what you would say to someone in education. Divide your customer list and write the BEST message to the correct audience.

- Personalize your message! Phoenix Media can use variable tags and other information like the client’s name, company name and even sign each letter with your company’s appropriate account executive.

 - Create a follow-up plan. If your sales team has input into who is getting your direct mail piece, make sure they are ready for follow up. Follow up and a call to action for your client is the best way to turn a direct mail campaign into a success!

- Have fun. Be creative. Be bold.  Toothless, boring campaigns won’t get the results you want. Ask yourself the question: “Would I open and read this mailer?”

Here at Phoenix Media, we can print your promotional piece, address each item, sort and remove duplicates from your list and even update mailing addresses if your potential client has moved. For businesses wanting to reach a new potential customer, we can print and mail to every home in a zip code or even a mail route within a zip code. In other words, we can get you re-engaged with your customers on a very tangible level, fast!

If you can imagine it, we can create it and get it into your customers hands.
 
Give us a call to get started.

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